Good Research Paper About Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Diary, Judaism, People, Life, Middle East, Anne Frank, Family, Literature

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2023/04/03

«Anne Frank has left a gift to the world that will survive her enemies Of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank.» (Merti 42) Anne Frank was not an ordinary girl. In her age she was a poet and a sage. And as soon as one becomes fully aware of this, the pain of the untimely death of this tremendously talented and promising teenager becomes much stronger. People often bitterly say that scores of great people could grow of one and a half million children slaughtered by the Nazis. Of course one does not know it for sure. However, without any doubts one can assert that if Ann Frank stayed alive, she would glorify her people. «The Diary of Anne Frank is the most widely read book in the world, after The Bible.» (Wolfswinkel, Last 10)
In the late 20’s — early 30’s of the XX century there was a prosperous Jewish family living in Germany: the head of the family — Otto Frank, his wife — Frank Hollander, and two daughters — Margot and Anne. Otto Frank’s ancestors had been living in Germany from the XVII century therefore, in that country Otto had more rights than Hitler, who was born in Austria-Hungary, ever possessed. (Kops historical background) However, after Hitler came to power in 1933, for Frank, as well as for the other German Jews life had become unsafe. Anticipating the repressions against the Jews by the new regime, Otto Frank decided not to wait for the mass manifestation and left the country. He emigrated to Netherlands, Amsterdam to be more precise, where Otto established his own company for producing jam. Soon after that his family joined him, and there were no signs of trouble, everything seemed to be as good as it could be under the existing circumstances. Despite the growth of tensions in Europe because of the militant propaganda and the aggressive actions of Hitler Germany, the Frank’s family had a normal life in Netherlands. Later, in her diary, Anne will remember that time as the best times of her life. Until Anne was six, she attended the kindergarten at Montessori school, and then she became the student of that school. However things became a lot worse in 1940, in May, when Germany occupied Holland. Right before the German invasion the Queen Wilhelmina and her office escaped to England, and the pro-German government was formed in the country. (Cadbury) It had immediately started to conduct discriminatory policies against Jews. In the diary, the 13-year-old Anne in very detail describes, like a very inquisitive historian, describes the manifestations of that policy: «After May 1940 the good times were few and far between: first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use street-cars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 P.M.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 P.M. and 6 A.M.; Jews were forbidden to attend theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields; Jews were forbidden to go rowing; Jews were forbidden to take part in any athletic activity in public; Jews were forbidden to sit in their gardens or those of their friends after 8 P.M.; Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools, etc.» (Frank 8) Of course this was not the end. Otto Frank understood that the discriminatory measures listed by the German Nazis and their Dutch collaborators will be unlimited. He tried to get the American visa, however neither his close American relatives, neither his friends were able to help him. It was the time when Roosevelt’s government established strict restrictions on entry to the United States. Under the new order in the country Anne was forced to leave the school of Montessori, and she went to the Jewish Lyceum. It was also good enough, and she was able to make a lot of friends there. And despite all the discriminatory measures of the authorities life went on.
Anne’s first diary was dated June 12, 1942, and was written in the red and white checkered autograph album she had received from her father for her thirteenth birthday. (Enzer ) The girl made the first entry in her journal: «I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.» (Frank 1) The diary was written in a form of a letter to her friend Kitty, virtual friend, as one would say these days. A few days after Anne’s thirteenth birthday there was a big upheaval in Otto Frank’s family, which has changed the life of the family forever. It was the moment from which the life could never be the same again — Margo received an agenda from the Gestapo. The Franks were well aware of the fact that it was nothing but a sentence of deportation to the concentration camp. Therefore the family made a decision to immediately move to the prepared shelter. It was the place from where within 782 days Anne would make her diary entries, until she is arrested and sent to the concentration camp. The last entry was dated August 1, 1944. Three days later, on August 4, on someone’s denunciation, the Frank family and four other Jews that were hiding with them were arrested and sent to a concentration camp Westerbork, and soon were deported to Auschwitz. In October the same year Anne and Margo were transferred to Bergen-Belsen. In spring, 1945 both sisters died there from exhaustion and fewer. Only Otto Frank remained alive of all the family. After the war Otto moved to Amsterdam, where he met up with people who helped the eight «illegals» to hide, and they gave him the diary they found in the shelter. (Anne Frank afterword)
It is rather complicated to write about the impact the book has on its reader, and about the emotions it causes. Without doubts, the book has something to grumble about while reading it, and even after. Before reading the diary the expectations were a little different: one would not think that a diary written during the war will mainly talk about the relationships with the boy, fights with parents, about an ordinary teenage loneliness and universal misunderstanding. Actually, the refuge seemed also a little different from one would expect: it looked like a normal communal apartment in which people in Russia, for example, used to live before and after the war. And people behaved a little different. Madame van Daan flirted with other man in front of her husband, Dussel hid the parcels sent by his wife in the closet, so he did not have to share it with the people who sheltered him. It all looked more like a kindergarten, rather than a group of cohesive individuals, representatives of the chosen people. Frankly speaking, at some points, while reading the book one might even have the desire to smash the book to pieces, if it were not for one little, however very important thing — the diary is real. It was written by a real young girl who dreamed of becoming a writer, considered herself a grown-up, worried about her relationships with the boy and her family, the girl who died in a concentration camp.
While reading the book there is a feeling that the author of all those posts is not real, as well as the addressee Kitty. However, every now and then it popped up in the head — she was real. There was a girl who was locked up in a couple of rooms for more than two years. She was breathing stale air, was afraid to open the window or to flush the toilet. She had to share the room with the aged growler, and the only consolations she had was the pile of books and hope that the war would finally come to an end. This is not fiction, this was all for real.
And it is injustice that hits in this book most of all — a little more time, and the end would have been much different. «Just two weeks after her supposed death on March 31, 1945, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had been imprisoned was liberated — timing that showed how close the Jewish diarist had been to surviving the Holocaust.» (Park) Peter needed died just three days before it.
People tend to like the books with happy endings, but while reading Ann’s diary one knows exactly what will be at the end, and he knows that it will not be happy. Knowing this, the book is perceived very differently, with more compassion and understanding.
People tend to say that Anne’s family was relatively lucky, since while they were sitting in the shelter a lot of people were dying trying to save them. During the siege of Leningrad people ate only three small crumbs of bread a day, wile Anne was busy choosing only the smallest potatoes for the holidays, and complained that she had to eat spinach, and to make strawberry jam. Of course all this is true, and the war touched the life of every individual in a different way. However, it is not us, people living nowadays, to judge them and to make any comparisons. Being well fed, clothed, and most importantly — free, one does not have any right to do so. Frankly speaking, it is even hard to say what is easier: to be shot dead as a hero, or to sit quietly and wait for several years. Especially when you are fifteen years old, and when your life has not even started yet.
While reading the diary it is impossible not to admire its optimism and joyousness. Despite on the daily, or even hourly threat for shelter occupants to be disclosed, Anne writes in her diary: «It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions.And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll be able to realize them!» (Frank 333) And as the apotheosis sounds her deepest desire to benefit the people around, and to continue to leave after death.
Anne was a very lively, active, and courageous girl. A girl ready to delve into adulthood with a laud laugh, confidence, boldly knocking with her new red shoes. Every next line of the diary revealed a beautiful young lady, passionate for life, who was unlike the other people she was describing. She wanted to live an unusual life, to become a journalist and to travel, to meet interesting people, to love and to be loved. She never doubted the uniqueness of her save, and was ready to work very hard for the sake of it. Like any teenager, Anne was a maximalist, intolerant in her relationships with the adults around. However it is hard to blame her for that, since in her diary she just tried to be honest, and to express her true feelings. The young writer wanted to turn her diary into a novel and to publish it after the war. There are also records that she began to correct and change some parts of the diary while writing it preparing it for the publishing. «The diary is an open text, not least, because, even as rewritten by Anne, it is an unfinished work just as her life was cut short by her murder at the age of fifteen» (Shandler, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 5 ) As for the characters, mentioned in the diary, it is important to say that almost all of them, except Anne’s mother, are presented very vividly and briskly. Mr. van Daan, with his penchant for cigarettes; Mrs. van Daan — lightweight and tempered, and at the same time incredibly kind and innocent lady; Peter — a very shy and innocent guy, who managed to charm Anne. Just a few words about each of the characters, and they all come alive under Anne’s flying pen.
The diary ended very suddenly, even for those readers who knew what to expect from it. It was as sudden as a break of human life. After that one starts to read what happened with those who became so close. Some of the characters were killed right after they were found and captured, some of them fought for live. And some — Otto Frank — even managed to survive. It must have been very hard for him, since the loss of his close ones was like his small little death. Everyone has head about those tragic times, however when you start to read about fates of separate people, it becomes even scarier and shocking.
After reading this book, there comes a realization that any idea, theory or belief could ever justify murder. However, even though it might sound strange, along with the horror one might feel, there is also an emotional lift that you can bright all the happiness to the world that young Anne dreamed about. And if you are at least a little like Anne, you will enlist the patience and will work hard, not doubting the success and uniqueness of your life; if you are going to love this life, the nature and everything good that is happening around, undoubtedly you will live a truly amazing life, the one this extraordinary girl would have lived.
The Diary of a Young Girl has lately been a subject for a passionately adverse polemic, questioning the authenticity of the diary. «In 1975 Richard Harwood, in his Holocaust denial pamphlet called Did Six Million Really Die?, called the diary a "propaganda legend . . . just one more fraud in a whole series of frauds perpetrated in support of the 'Holocaust' legend and the saga of the Six Million.» (qtd. in Holocaust Denial on Trial) The supporters of this point of view claim that the diary was mainly written by scores of people: writers, translators, editors, transcribers and playwrights. They assert that they essentially have adapted and expanded the original manuscript to make a commercial product out of it, creating in the process of additions and changes a fraudulent document, which is being used in thousands of schools around the world, helping to cause pity for the Jewish people, promoting sympathy for Zionism. However, after a deep analysis and considerations, one will come up with the conclusion that these conclusions are absurd, and make no sense. Even if the diary was really edited by someone, including Anne’s father, it was done for the sake of the reader, since during such corrections the writing was made more consistent and understandable for the reader. «Anti-Semitic pamphlets cited in the book show that the neo-Nazis had a larger aim in trying to discredit the diary as a hoax: to ''prove'' that there had never been a ''final solution'' plan to exterminate the Jews.» (Mitgang) Therefore, those judgements should be just ignored, since they are made by the primitive people, who are not capable of understanding the world around them. And just to make everything clear, «After years of detective work, the Dutch Government has for the first time proved the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary down to the last detail.» (Mitgang)

Works Cited

Cadbury, Deborah. Princess at War The Bitter Battle Inside Britain’s Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII. New York: PublicAffairs, 2015. Print.
Enzer, Hyman Aaron, and Sandra Solotaroff-Enzer. Anne Frank: Reflections on Her Life and Legacy. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2000. Print.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. N.p.: Knopf Doubleday Group, 2010. Print.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, and Jeffrey Shandler. Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2012. Print.
Kops, Bernard. "Historical Background." Dreams Of Anne Frank Student Editions. N.p.: Bloomsbury, 2014. N. pag. Print.
"Learning Tools." HDOT : : Myth/Fact Sheets : The Diary of Anne Frank Is a Forgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. <>.
Merti, Betty. The World of Anne Frank: A Complete Resource Guide. Portland, Me.: J. Weston Walch, 1998. Print.
Mitgang, Herbert. "An Authenticated Edition of Anne Frank's Diary." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 June 1989. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. <>.
Park, Madison. "Researchers Say Anne Frank Perished Earlier than Thought." CNN. N.p., 02 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.
Van, Galen Last D., and Rolf Wolfswinkel. Anne Frank and after. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 1996. Print.

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